Published:

8pm WATCH: Simon Hughes: Clegg wealth tax would be a "fair contribution" from the rich "for some years, for a limited time"

4.15pm MPsETC: Daniel Kawczynski MP writes to Sir Richard Branson urging him to drop his West Coast Rail protest

3.30pm ToryDiary: Why regional public sector pay still won't happen

3.15pm WATCH: George Osborne: "We've got to be careful and not drive away the wealth creators of this country"

Berry Jake 21.30pm Jake Berry MP on Comment: Conservative Police and Crime Commissioners should end taxpayer funding for top officers' private healthcare

11.15am WATCH: Bernard Jenkin MP: Nick Clegg's new wealth tax idea is "an easy pre-conference clap line", but an impractical idea

ToryDiary: The key to the next election lies in the midlands and northern marginals – especially the north-west

Also on ToryDiary: Tories should support more property taxes if proceeds are used to cut other, more harmful taxes

SHAPPS GRANT-1Grant Shapps MP on Comment: Thousands of new homes unlocked with an historic deal that began by abolishing dozens of quangos

Also on Comment - Chris Skidmore MP: Andrew Lansley's clinical commissioning groups are already improving health services by making them more localist

International: Lord Ashcroft's Republican Convention diary day two: Tuesday

Local government: 

The Deep End: Cameron and Osborne: Standing on the shoulders of pygmies

WATCH: Mitt Romney officially receives the Republican Party nomination for 2012

Nick Clegg wants an "emergency tax" on the wealthiest

Clegg on Marr"Britain's wealthiest people should face an emergency tax to avoid a breakdown in social cohesion as the country fights an "economic war" caused by a longer than expected recession, Nick Clegg has said. … "If we are going to ask people for more sacrifices over a longer period of time, a longer period of belt tightening as a country, then we just have to make sure that people see it is being done as fairly and as progressively as possible," Clegg said." – Guardian

  • The Lib Dem leader says he is determined to stand up to David Cameron, Ed Miliband and anyone else threatening to derail his plans to restore his party's fortunes – Guardian

> From yesterday: 

Cameron urged to ditch Justine Greening and expand Heathrow…

Greening Justine BBC"David Cameron is under mounting pressure to perform a dramatic U-turn by allowing a major expansion at Heathrow Airport. Senior Conservatives are urging him to move Justine Greening, who strongly opposes a proposed third runway at Heathrow, from her post as Transport Secretary in a Cabinet reshuffle expected next Monday. They say that would allow the Government to expand Heathrow as the centrepiece of a new "go-for-growth" strategy." – Independent

  • Clegg backs Greening on Heathrow – FT (£)
  • A third runway won’t satisfy the airport lobby – Chris Mullin for the Times (£)

> From yesterday:

…but he will not drop opposition to Heathrow third runway until at least 2015

"David Cameron will not drop his opposition to a third runway at Heathrow until at least 2015 despite warnings from business leaders that the delay is damaging the economy. The Prime Minister is prepared to consider the case for a new airport to the east of London, but has ruled out expanding Heathrow until after the next election." – Daily Telegraph

> From yesterday – WATCH: Tim Montgomerie: David Cameron made a specific pledge against a third runway – it would let down too many people for him to u-turn now

Paul Goodman: The next election will not be won because of Heathrow – blue-collar workers in the North and Midlands hold the key to a Conservative victory

GOODMAN PAUL CONINTELL"But on social matters, the think tank’s polling was more encouraging for the Prime Minister. Northern voters showed even more support than southern ones for controlling immigration and for tougher court sentences; they were also more likely to agree with the claim that “so-called green policies are mostly a waste of money”. Wary about public service cuts (though dissatisfied with much of what the public sector delivers), opposed to immigration, tough on crime, suspicious of claims of human rights… through the fog of polling, the outline of a Tory idea begins to appear: Northern Conservatism, less economically liberal and a bit more socially conservative than its southern sibling, but unmistakably similar." – Paul Goodman for the Daily Telegraph

  • The third runway appeals to paranoid machismo, not reason. A recession is no excuse for pushing through dumb projects – Sir Simon Jenkins for the Guardian

> Today on ToryDiary: The key to the next election lies in the midlands and northern marginals – especially the north-west

> Yesterday on Majority Conservatism: Thou shalt not be a Left or Right-wing Conservative Party but as broad in your concerns as the British people

Daniel Finkelstein: Cameron was elected as a leader for the good times. He needs to be a "cold-weather" leader now. 

FINKELSTEIN DANNY HANDS"Tory modernisation was developed in response to Mr Blair’s political success. It was warm-weather modernisation. Mr Cameron’s promise to share the proceeds of growth between tax cuts and increased public spending was a brilliant formula, but one that doesn’t work when there is no growth. What the Tories need is a cold-weather modernisation. The party should be as unorthodox and pragmatic in its search for growth as it was, for instance, on the environment in a different era." – Daniel Finkelstein for the Times (£)

> From yesterday - Johnny Munkhammar on CommentExtra government spending doesn't bring growth

Blow for Gove as free schools get off to a faltering start

Gove IDCC"More than a dozen free schools due to open next week have been delayed or beset by planning problems in a blow to the credibility of Michael Gove’s programme. Almost half of the schools — the Education Secretary’s brainchild — that are opening next week will be in mobile classrooms or in temporary premises such as town halls and conference centres" – Times (£)

MPs warn Cameron against honouring 2012 Olympians and (civil servants) simply for doing their job

Cameron Euro summit"The speed at which sports stars and celebrities are given honours is damaging public trust in the system, MPs warn today. David Cameron is under intense pressure to sanction honours for Team GB’s top Olympic medallists in recognition of their stunning performances this summer. But a report by the Commons public administration select committee warns many sports stars are being given honours too early in their careers." - Daily Mail

Olympic border operation to cope with foreign students

"The emergency Olympics border regime is to stay in place until at least November as the Government attempts to prevent the embarrassment of long queues at airports in coming weeks. Retired immigration officers and staff from Whitehall are to work at the border as hundreds of thousands of overseas students arrive in September and October." – Times (£)

Grant Shapps gives go-ahead to 22,000 new homes

"Plans for about 22,600 new homes in Kent with the creation of up to 60,000 jobs has been given the go-ahead. … Grant Shapps, the housing minister, said: "The Kent Thameside development – offering the opportunity for tens of thousands of new homes – has been stuck on the drawing board for a whole decade."" – BBC | FT (£)

> Today - Grant Shapps MP on CommentThousands of new homes unlocked with an historic deal that began by abolishing dozens of quangos

Boris Johnson launches unpaid work scheme for young Londoners

Johnson Boris Late Show"Young Londoners joining the dole queue will be forced to work unpaid for three months or lose their benefits under a new scheme announced by mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)." – Guardian

> Yesterday on ToryDiary: Chris Grayling announces London-wide scheme to end something-for-nothing benefits culture

Councillors give themselves 'completely unjustifiable' 28% pay rise

"Hundreds of councillors awarded themselves inflation-busting rises in allowances last year. Figures show that a dozen town halls did so despite the pay freeze for many local government workers. … The hikes … have been condemned by local government minister Bob Neill as ‘completely unjustifiable’." – Daily Mail

  • The public sector pay freeze that wasn't: Thousands of civil servants and NHS workers given rises despite Osborne's pledge – Daily Mail

> Today on Local government: New TaxPayers' Alliance survey reveals big differences in size of councillor allowances

Harman Harriet March 2011Stop ignoring older women, says Harman as she hits out at ageism on TV and in public life - Daily Mail

Calls for reform as cost of free personal care for elderly rises by 150% in 7 yearsScotsman

MPs demand action on lost alcohol taxation BBC

RomneyMittMitt Romney becomes Republican presidential nomineeBBC

> Yesterday on International: Lord Ashcroft begins a diary from the Republican Convention in Florida

> Today: 

Syria’s rebels are not yet worthy of our trust – Con Coughlin for the Daily Telegraph

And finally… Chief Mouser to the Cabinet: Larry the Downing Street cat finally earns his stripes by catching his first rodent at No 10 - Daily Mail

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